Being The Hero, and Being the Sidekick in Lockjaw 4

By Spencer Irwin

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Lockjaw is a pet, Black Bolt’s (and sometimes Ms. Marvel’s) faithful companion, so often a sidekick in their adventures. Daniel Kibblesmith and Carlos Villa’s Lockjaw miniseries has provided a chance for the teleporting canine to step into the spotlight and become the hero of his own story, a fact that takes center stage in the series finale. Continue reading

Lockjaw 3 is a Cartoony Romp

By Drew Baumgartner

Lockjaw 3

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Gordie: Alright, alright. Mickey’s a mouse. Donald’s a duck. Pluto’s a dog. What’s Goofy?
[…]
Teddy: Goofy’s a dog, he’s definitely a dog.
[…]
Chris: He can’t be a dog. Wears a hat and drives a car.
[…]
Vern: God, that’s weird. What the hell is Goofy?

Stand By Me

There are no rules inherent to a cartoon world. Maybe this is one where dragons exist. Maybe this is one where elephants can fly. Maybe this is one where an anthropomorphized mouse can own a regular (albeit cartoon) dog. We can accept those conceits on the terms they’re given, because it’s a cartoon. Audiences balk at other media for being “unrealistic,” but “cartoony” — effectively stylized unrealism — is a compliment. At least, that’s how I tend to think of cartooniness: a fun relaxations of the “rules” that govern fictional worlds, making room for a heck of a lot more imagination and fun. Such is certainly the case with Lockjaw 3, which finds even more fun to mine from relaxing its already madcap rules. Continue reading

FF 16

ff 16

Today, Ethan and Drew are discussing FF 16, originally released January 22nd, 2013.

Ethan: With the arrival of FF 16 Scott Lang’s campaign to end Doom is itself at an end. Even though Doom was the cause of the crusade, it’s always been more about Scott — this finale is no different. As Scott confronts the mortal enemy of the Fantastic Four and the man who killed his daughter, there’s never going to be a better time to prove who or what the latest incarnation of Ant-Man has become. Unsurprisingly, Matt Fraction and Lee Allred do not disappoint.

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Infinity 6

infinity 6-INFINITY

Today, Ethan and Spencer are discussing Infinity 6, originally released November 27th, 2013. This issue is part of the Infinity crossover event. Click here for complete Infinity coverage.

infinity divider

Ethan: When I was starting college, I knew – objectively – that I would at some point no longer be a student; I’d graduate, get a job, do the adulthood thing. But at the time, steeped in the day-to-day evasion of and frantic return to schoolwork, hanging out with friends, sleeping as little as possible, the thought if college actually ending rarely crossed my mind. And then BAM it was time to get up to go to the early-morning rehearsal for the graduation ceremony. College was finished, I was moving into a new apartmen and starting a new job. That sense of disconnect – when something long awaited feels as though it happens and is shoved into the past before we have the chance to actually experience – is the same feeling I’ve gotten during most of the turning points in the Infinity event, and the same is true of its finale. Continue reading

Avengers 23

avengers 23 infinityToday, Spencer and Ethan are discussing Avengers 23, originally released November 20th, 2013. This issue is part of the Infinity crossover event. Click here for complete Infinity coverage.

infinity divider

Spencer: Guys, I’m just gonna be frank with you; I’m getting kind of tired of Infinity.  I thought it started out great, with immense threats, exciting action, a fun war-story vibe and a colorful cast of alien supporting characters who were fleshed out just enough so that the scenes featuring them weren’t boring, but Infinity never really broke away from or added any depth to that formula, and after over ten issues of it, I’m thoroughly tired of this interstellar war-story. Maybe writer Jonathan Hickman is too; it would explain why this issue of Avengers feels so pointless. Or maybe he just thinks that the infiltration of the Peak is important enough to devote two whole issues to; unfortunately for us, it’s not. Continue reading

Avengers 21

avengers 21 infinityToday, Ethan and Drew are discussing Avengers 21, originally released October 16th, 2013. This issue is part of the Infinity crossover event. Click here for complete Infinity coverage.

infinity dividerEthan: The Infinity arc has been many things: ambitious, epic, nail-biting, repetitive, crowded. The adjective that perhaps best describes the current bit of the story — Avengers #21 — is “compressed.” We’ve groused a bit about the many angles through which we were forced to watch the events of Starbrand wiping out a Builder fleet and an Avenger strike team freeing their teammates, so maybe this issue is a welcome departure from the exhaustive coverage of the previous battles. Yet I’d almost welcome an alternate perspective / re-hashing of the events of this issue, because it was anything but drawn-out. We get the meditations of supercomputers, hand-to-hand fighting across 6 different planets, absurdly dangerous decisions made by a handful of commanders far from the fighting. The brink of despair, total salvation, all in a couple dozen pages.

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FF 12

Alternating Currents: FF 12, Shelby and Drew

Today, Shelby and Drew are discussing FF 12, originally released September 25th, 2013.

Shelby: Destiny takes on a whole new meaning in ComicBookLand. To us regular folk, destiny is the idea that the natural order of the universe has predetermined our future. In comic books, it generally means a version of yourself from the future has arrived who knows what happens next because they’ve already lived it. It makes it a lot harder to argue your future is your own when faced with someone who knows what you’re going to do next, and the consequences of those actions. Unless, of course, you’re in Matt Fraction’s FF; no matter how many intellects from the future drop by, you never actually know what will happen next.

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Fantastic Four 9/FF 8

fantastic four 9 ff 8Today, Shelby and Ethan are discussing Fantastic Four 9 and FF 8, originally released June 19th, 2013 and June 26th, 2013, respectively.

Shelby: Everyone makes mistakes. There’s no way around it. Personally, I think it’s a better judge of character to see how a person deals with their mistakes, and less so that the mistakes were made in the first place. It’s important to admit when you’ve messed up and take responsibility fr your actions, but the gesture rings a little hollow when you don’t actually expect to be held responsible. Or if you can just go back in time and undo what you did: how will you learn from a mistake if you can just erase it? Moreover, if you aren’t going to be held responsible for what you did, and you can’t undo it no matter how badly you may want to, can you really forgive yourself?
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